Monthly Archives: January 2019

Today’s Word is… GILLETTE

I’m never buying a Gillette razor again!

I’m fucking with you, I’ve never bought a Gillette razor. Black men don’t put razors on their face. It was something my father taught me early, just as I was taught to respect women. So when I saw this new Gillette ad circulating the web, my reaction was, well said. Not what I was expecting from the company that literally sells lower quality pink razors to women for the same price but hey, baby steps. When I started to see the backlash for the ad, I had to watch it again…maybe there was something I missed; surely men aren’t losing their minds because a razor company told them to be respectful members of society. Break up fights, don’t bully, don’t harass women on the street you don’t know. I feel like these are things that shouldn’t be up for debate. They could’ve went much deeper, but then again it’s just a razor company commercial. If anything, they threw a soft ball right down the middle. They are simply asking men to be better, if you haven’t been paying attention to the news, ain’t nobody playing anymore. Adapt or be swiftly removed from the paint. Like I was saying last post with the cookout, there’s no reward for being a decent person, it’s the damn standard.

But Hell hath no fury like a man being held accountable (see Hart, Kevin) so it opens an ironic dialogue on is the idea “toxic masculinity” toxic itself. (it’s not). Pretending to be taken aback by the notion of toxic is the same as being offended by the word privilege, largely full of shit. Having privilege does not mean without struggle, without oppression, without outliers and toxic masculinity does not mean that masculinity itself is toxic. Toxic masculinity alludes to someone acting within their own expectations of what a man is, often exaggerated, often inauthentic. It reduces male identity to sex, violence, bravado and aggression. It turns a workplace into a frat house, hell, it creates frat houses. We live in a society (for now) where it’s rewarded. We watched an imbecile bully his way to the White House simply by being the biggest man in the room. We see people live in toxicity so long they become a part of it themselves. Bully or get bullied, only the strong survive… We are conditioned to believe that toxic culture will change you before you will change it and so we play into it.

I’m not exempt either, growing up it was ride for your hood, get this bread, get at these girls. Virgins got clowned, dudes scrapped over simple shit, we did what we saw the older dudes in the hood doing. They had their own OGs. No one really thought about how and why things just were this way, they just were.

If only we had saw a Gillette commercial, we would’ve turned over a leaf must earlier in life.

I’m just fucking with you. Black men don’t put razors on their face. Which is why I was surprised to see other black men in their feelings over this ad. Like, we don’t even go here. And on top of that; violent, aggressive, sex crazed…that’s how *they* try to paint brothers already. We’re more than that, we’re above that, that’s not what makes us men.

The cycle has to end eventually and there’s no time like the present. Gillette isn’t saying act less like a man, they’re saying act more decent because frankly, everyone else on the planet is kinda tired of your shit. And what do these toxic men do in response? They stage an online boycott and throw their innocent razors in the trash. I guess it cut deep.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… COOKOUT

 

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The cookout has been a long standing colloquialism for blackness, the culture, and being down.  While the cookout itself is figurative you can easily picture someone’s uncle on the grill, the spades table, Frankie Beverly and Maze, the electric slide and black people just enjoying being black.  No barking from the dog, no smog, and mama cooked a breakfast with no hog.  Basically, the cookout is our safe space. (Or literally every black family reunion).   Except, these days the cookout is more of picnic (some pun intended), a potluck, a box social because seemingly every white person who dances on beat, says racism is bad, looks like Travis Kelce, or just has a black friend has an invite to what was originally a fairly exclusive gathering.  It’s like no one remembers what happens when you invite white people over to eat. (see: The First Thanksgiving) Squanto ain’t die for this.  Blackness isn’t an honorary degree you can earn by seasoning food, dating black people or clapping on the 2 and the 4 because if the cookout gets raided I can’t say wait I didn’t mean to come here and retreat back to whiteness (see: Miley Cyrus).  There’s no off switch for blackness (see: The Rock in every movie).  So with all due respect white people, in 2019 y’all buddy passes are revoked.

Invitations to the cookout are suspended indefinitely, effective immediately.  At the very least, the price of admission has gone up.  If you want “in”, it requires real WORK, not these basic ass deeds like dancing on beat.  Even if a white person does go above and beyond for the culture, still a hard maybe. (See how that feels?).  Personally, I have never been that impressed; I don’t care how many times a white person tweets #blacklivesmatter, they can’t sit with us. (see: Shimmy Shimmy Nah White Kappa)  Not being racist isn’t impressive, it should be the damn standard.  You don’t get ribs for not saying nigger or doing a Halloween costume without blackface.  “Woke” isn’t a badge of honor, it’s the haunting realization that around the country and the world people who look like me are being harassed, killed and oppressed, a white people is simply aware of this fact and they get a hot dog and get to electric slide with the rest of us? Nah, B.

That isn’t to say white people are all bad or that we can’t break bread or coexist, it’s not like we are shutting the government down for 3 weeks to keep them out or something crazy like that (see Fiasco, Toupee); I just think we need to re-calibrate this reward system.  Ideally, being socially aware and properly seasoning your food is it’s own reward but for those white people who just NEED some pat on the back.  I have proposed a few alternatives:

  • a gold star
  • thumbs up
  • an “ayyy” when they dance (max. 3)
  • a kale based treat
  • a yasssss gif
  • invited to the coffeeshop*

*not Starbucks, we aint forget

  • They can pet your dog, but no kissing
  • Beer (quality depends on deed rewarded)
  • Acknowledgment that Season 2 of The Wire isn’t that bad
  • Indulge their high 5
  • Some oversized clothing item
  • A Tommy Egan dap

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  • Salted Caramel
  • Acknowledgment that Eminem did get Hov on Renegade
  • One outfit hyping
  • a head nod
  • weed
  • Acknowledgment that peak Larry Bird was as good as LeBron
  • Something related to Game of Thrones or bacon, the two things we might love equally
  • Froyo
  • Enter them in a 5K, they think they can cure anything with a 5K
  • One “Were you on vacation, you look tanned?”
  • A Jon B certificate of White Cool
  • A dab, seriously they can have it now.

The cookout is sacred ground and should be treated as such.  Invite only, no plus ones, no honorary guests, no homeboy who is just waiting for his ride but just gonna help himself to a plate while he waits (see: my cousin’s roommates).  Especially when we don’t know for sure how they be voting.

-Stan-

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